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Repercussions employers could face for workplace discrimination

On Behalf of | Apr 2, 2024 | Workplace Discrimination |

Recent data has revealed that 91 percent of employees in the United States who responded to a survey have faced discrimination in the workplace, whether it is based on race, gender, disability, status, age or other identifying factors. 

This overwhelming number underscores the prevalence of discrimination within the workforce and highlights the urgent need for employers to take decisive action. 

When an employee experiences discrimination in the workplace, it not only harms the individual being subjected to it, but also can cause significant repercussions for the employer. What are the potential consequences for employers failing to address workplace discrimination? 

Legal and financial liabilities   

If discrimination occurs, the employer could face many consequences, the most immediate being legal action that could result in costly settlements or judgments, and having to pay attorneys’ fees.  

Moreover, legal battles can also take considerable time and resources, diverting an employer’s attention from the business’ core operations.  

Damage to reputation   

With the power of social media and the court of public opinion’s swift judgment, discrimination and harassment within a workforce can significantly damage an organization’s reputation.  

Negative publicity can have a significant effect even on the largest and most market-competitive businesses. Furthermore, rebuilding a tarnished public image can be a complicated process for a company, sometimes even requiring changes to the organization’s management structure.  

Loss of talent   

A diverse workforce brings many benefits to any business, including greater profits, increased employee motivation and reduced employee turnover. Discrimination can erode this type of workplace environment as those who experience or witness workplace discrimination, including harassment, may choose to leave. Having a reputation for discrimination can also make it challenging to attract top talent.  

Discrimination in the workplace can take many forms. It is the employer’s responsibility to take proactive measures that will foster inclusivity, protect workers and create a safe space where everyone is valued and treated with respect.  

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